Hearty Beef Minestrone

14 cups (3.5 L)

Minestrone is a substantial, tasty, inexpensive Italian country soup. One serving is hearty enough to be the foundation of a meal.


1 lb lean ground beef 500 g
can (28 oz/796 mL) no-salt-added diced tomatoes
1 cup chopped onion 250 ml
1 cup chopped celery 250 ml
1 cup chopped green bell pepper or zucchini 250 ml
1 cup shredded cabbage 250 ml
1 cup diced potatoes 250 ml
1 cup sliced carrots 250 ml
bay leaves
1 tsp salt 5 ml
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper 1 ml
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce 5 ml
can (14 oz/398 mL) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup elbow macaroni 125 ml
  Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)  


Step 1
In a deep, heavy pot, over medium-high heat, cook beef, breaking it up with the back of a spoon, for about 8 minutes or until no longer pink. Drain off fat.

Step 2
Stir in tomatoes, onion, celery, green pepper, cabbage, potatoes, carrots, bay leaves, salt, pepper, 6 cups (1.5 L) water and Worcestershire sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 hour. Stir in beans and macaroni; cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until vegetables are soft and pasta is tender.

Step 3
Ladle into warmed bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan, if desired.


This recipe makes a large amount of soup, so you can freeze some to have meals on hand. Portion soup into airtight containers, leaving room for expansion at the top, let cool and freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw in the refrigerator overnight or defrost in the microwave before reheating.

Nutrition & Notes

Nutrition Information
Valeur nutritive
1 cup (250 mL)
% Daily Value
% valeur quotidienne
Calories / Calories 120
Fat / Lipides 3 g
Saturated / saturés 1 g
+ Trans / trans
Cholesterol / Cholestérol 17 mg
Sodium / Sodium 273 mg
Carbohydrates / Glucides 14 g
Fiber / Fibres 3 g
Sugars / Sucres
Protein Protéines 9 g
Vitamin A / Vitamine A
Vitamin C / Vitamine C
Calcium / Calcium
Iron / Fer
Cheese is high in fat and sodium, but used sparingly it can give a lift to soups and other dishes. Two teaspoons (10 mL) of grated Parmesan add about 1 gram of fat and 60 milligrams of sodium.
Diabetes Food Choice Values:
America’s Exchanges
½ Starch
1 Vegetable
1 Lean Meat
Canada’s Choices
½ Carbohydrate
1 Meat & Alternatives